Esther McVey 'didn't understand how Brexit works'

Off to discuss a post-horse bolting strategy for the stable door

Work and pensions secretary Esther McVey had to be corrected at a cabinet meeting after arguing talks over parts of Britain's EU withdrawal agreement should be concluded once it had actually left, it has been claimed.

The Times has reported that three sources had said that McVey had been corrected by the prime minister after apparently misunderstanding how the Brexit process worked.

Britain will only be granted a transition by the European Union once it has agreed the Northern Ireland backstop, the future rights of EU and UK citizens and the £39bn divorce bill.

Under EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier's mantra 'nothing is agreed until everything is agreed', a transition deal would collapse if any of these issues were not signed off by both parties.

One source told the newspaper: 'Esther did not appear to understand what she was saying. Quite a few people including the PM immediately jumped in to correct the misunderstanding.'

McVey's spokeswoman said that the claim was a 'load of rubbish'.

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